Hot Property: This Regent Square Home is a Pittsburgh City-Dweller’s Dream
A two-car garage, plentiful bathrooms, careful updates and access to all of the city’s amenities make the LaClair Avenue home a rare gem.
While Arlene Tessmer did not expect to be leaving her beloved Regent Square home so soon after buying it, she is excited for whoever gets to enjoy it next.
“I want them to find a sense of community and belonging,” she says.
That’s just what she discovered while living at 1434 LaClair Avenue, which she purchased in March of 2022.
“Ideally, since it’s a big house, I would love for it to be a family with kids,” Tessmer says. “I have a sister-in-law who grew up on Braddock Avenue and Frick Park is her special place — full of wonderful childhood memories.”
Tessmer says that while there are residents in every stage of life along LaClair, more and more families with young kids are popping up in the area. Her own children are grown now, but she still loves the vibe of a family-friendly neighborhood.
“The family behind me has a small basketball court where the kids play,” she says. “There is nothing like the sound of kids having fun.”
Listed for $569,900, the five-bedroom Dutch Colonial certainly has space for a family; the home measures 2,194 square feet. It also features three full bathrooms, a first-floor powder room that includes laundry hookups and a Pittsburgh potty in the very-usable basement.
Updates are abundant throughout this property, but the historical charm has not been lost. Service stairs off of the kitchen join the main staircase at a landing. Tessmer added new hardwood floors to the first floor as well as fresh carpeting on the top two floors. The second floor features a primary suite with a large bathroom as well as two bedrooms that share a hallway bath. The third floor features two bedrooms and another full bathroom. One of those bedrooms has a kitchenette and is lined with built-in storage closets.
Bright, clean neutral paint throughout makes this home turnkey ready — it’s just awaiting the next owner’s touches. The kitchen is spacious and features an island for gathering that opens up to a dining room lined with windows.
Off the dining room is a small sunroom that opens to a back deck. The two-car garage is functional (a rare treat in this city), and both the front porch and back deck are updated with maintenance-free composite decking.
The yard is level and spacious — another Pittsburgh rarity — but this home also has premier access to the city’s largest backyard. At the end of LaClair Avenue, just a few yards from the home, is an entrance to Frick Park.
Tessmer said the entrance previously was often overgrown and littered with debris such as bricks, but neighbors initiated cleaning up the trail head in the summer of 2022. It’s now a functional way to enter the park’s many miles of trails and recreation space.
“I am a big believer in walking meditation and would use my daily walks for mindfulness and gratitude,” Tessmer says.
She got to know other local residents on her journeys, including a mama deer and two babies that made their home right off the trailhead. The same group of neighbors are also working to organize a community garden for LaClair residents. Tessmer calls them some of the friendliest people she’s ever met.
Realtor Sarah Leitera of Berkshire Hathaway says she has been a fan of this home for a while; in fact, this is the second time she’s sold it.
Living nearby herself, Leitera says the biggest plus for prospective buyers is the home’s location.
“It’s walkable to Frick Park and you have all of the South Braddock restaurants and shops within walking distance,” she says. “Plus, to be able to hop on the parkway and get Downtown in ten minutes? To me, location is prime here.”
The home’s third floor’s efficiency kitchen and full bathroom are added features that may entice buyers, Leitera says. While the home is zoned for single-family use, and the third floor does not have a dedicated entrance, the suite could be used as an Airbnb, in-law suite or for an adult child looking for a place to land.
As for why Tessmer is leaving the home and neighbors she adores? Love.
Tessmer moved to Pittsburgh to care for her sister, who had terminal cancer. Since her sister died, Tessmer has reconciled with her husband, who she was previously separated from.
“I always like to find the silver lining in life’s troubles, or maybe just like to put a positive spin on my own decisions,” she says. “I think my husband and I would not be in the great place we are in if I had not moved away. It gave us both the chance to see what really matters.”
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About: Regent Square (rsca.online)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Regent Square is easily accessible from the Parkway East, giving the neighborhood a route to get anywhere in the city easily. There are plentiful bus routes in the neighborhood that connect residents to other neighborhoods, and the area is very walkable. There are restaurants, coffee shops, and retail spots easily accessible by foot or bike in the neighborhood. That same proximity to the parkway means the airport is an easy drive, too.
Schools: Woodland Hills School Districts (whsd.net)
Neighborhood: Regent Square, which has been called Gunn Hill, the Devon Plan and the Wilkins Plan in the past, was given its lofty moniker at the beginning of the 19th century. George Westinghouse, who had a farm in the area, wanted to encourage luxury development around his own home. A developer thought that “Regent Square” evoked that luxury image, and it worked; the community bordering Frick Park has long been home to many gorgeous historic houses. Plentiful green space and quiet residential streets bordering the bustling business district make this neighborhood a popular choice for city dwellers looking for a cozy community that isn’t short on amenities.
Meg St-Esprit is a Bellevue-based freelance journalist who covers real estate, lifestyle, education, parenting and travel for a variety of local outlets including Pittsburgh Magazine, PublicSource, Kidsburgh, Pittsburgh City Paper, and City Cast Pittsburgh. Meg offers Hot Property, an inside look into unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. Meg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.